Reduction in process time
After first use
Introduction: Roboteer, The Problem and Why Robocorp
Roboteer is an intelligent automation agency based in London, UK. Consisting of a small team of two as of right now, they’re expected to grow quickly over the next 12 months as they acquire more clients in the property management industry and related sectors. Since their inception, their primary focus has been on working with small businesses who want to automate repeat, monotonous tasks that cost lots of manual hours per week to complete. In other words? They’re on a mission to “superpower” small businesses through automation, so these business owners can begin maximizing efficiencies, labor-productivity ratios, and their ultimate profitability. Part of this goal is to dispel the common misconception among small business owners that the benefits of automation are exclusive to multinational, public companies - this is not the case anymore.
Roboteer’s main automation offerings include reading text from images with OCR, as this is a deliverable many of their clients are looking for in automating key business processes. However, early on in their journey, Roboteer discovered that using other vendors was prohibitive to even getting started providing automated solutions to their target market: the huge yearly licensing cost associated with these solutions were neither feasible nor practical for their clients. In other words? Traditional RPA providers were a “non-starter.” They needed a flexible solution that matched their (and their clients’) needs. Enter Robocorp.
When Roboteer first discovered Robocorp, they were delighted to learn of several key features: they could use raw python to build a solution from scratch; the billing model was based on pay per use (so the cost was directly proportional to the use their clients would get out of their solution); and the top tier customer service meant they could be guided over any potential roadblocks in their path in good time, with little problem (a massive deal since they wanted to deliver a solution speedily and easily).
“Being able to build and deploy solutions quickly and run them in the cloud, on a really startup friendly pricing plan is an absolute game changer and that is what Robocorp provided us with. RPA is no longer just for multinationals, RPA is for everyone with manual, repetitive work issues to solve!” — Roboteer
One of the first automations Roboteer undertook after partnering with Robocorp was to automate repetitive and manual tasks for a property management company, also based in the UK. This business was struggling with an expensive, time consuming process which involved charging tenants for standard fees, such as a replacement key, a deep clean of their apartment, and so on. These charges were compiled across several lists, of which there were hundreds of records on each. To process each record, it took approximately 3 minutes. Since there were hundreds of records to process weekly, this was costing at least 20 hours a week in manual processing time.
Roboteer knew that, to begin, they needed to document the process of billing tenants and invoicing suppliers. Starting with a video of the process (provided by their client), they were able to populate the Process Definition Document (PDD) template provided by Robocorp. After the client signed off on the PDD, agreeing that it accurately described the process, they were then able to build an unattended robot that could pick up information from an easy to use Google Sheet. The robot would then log in to the web application that processes invoices and transactions for rented accommodation, and from there enter all information in the relevant fields. Since the unattended bot ran on Robocorp Cloud, the client was extra happy, because they could remotely run it from anywhere in the click of a button (without ever needing to acquire or build any additional on-premise infrastructure to house or manage the bots).
"Control Room provides the ability to easily run bots from anywhere with a click of a button and also schedule the bots to run at a specific time throughout the day. This is crucial for our clients with small businesses who don’t have the time or resources to learn and navigate through complicated systems. Also, being able to run the bots in a hosted container in Robocorp Cloud and manage everything through the Control Room is really nice and saves us a lot of hassle." — Roboteer
The timeline from first receiving the process video to implementation was just three weeks. Any hiccups in the iteration of building the solution, which included a challenge in finding what libraries performed best (since they perform differently across different websites and browsers) was immediately solved. All issues were resolved in a matter of hours.
"It was amazing how Robocorp was able to support us in getting our first few bots off the ground, from technical support to help with setting up billing , they were there every step of the way, always available on Slack!" — Roboteer
Clearly, Roboteer’s unattended robot presents a more cost-efficient and time-efficient solution than the manual process the client was using before. But exactly how much better is it for their business? Well, the bot can complete the same task in 30 seconds (versus 3 minutes), which is 83% faster and saves around £12k per year in manual labor cost. The capital that their property management company saves from Roboteer’s solution has been immediate, since from the very first time they ran the bot, they immediately yielded a 2x return on investment. This return will only compound as they continue using the unattended robot while scaling their business (without the associated heavy labor costs this doubtless would have prompted otherwise).
In addition to the initial and ongoing labor cost savings, the client will no longer need to train someone to do this manual data entry work. This is welcome news to the rest of the team since this is a position with high turnover (due to the monotonous, repeat nature of the work), and the associated hiring fees, recruitment fees, time investment, and onboarding costs all meant this position was difficult to fill and expensive in more ways than one. As a result, the client is happier, this key business process is more efficient, less costly, and can scale without the associated headache of manually computing tenant records and invoices. On the other hand, Roboteer is similarly happy to know that - thanks to the resilient, flexibility, and affordability of Robocorp’s software - they can expand this client’s use cases for RPA, in addition to using Robocorp’s technology with other clients as Roboteer too grows their business.